Monday, May 5, 2014

Grading Systems: What they should be!

I wish I read Larry Ferlazzo's blog more often. Everytime I do, I feel enlightened.

I'll quote some of my favorite parts, paraphrased, of his second post on grading. His post is mostly written by Rick Wormeli. 

Grades are first and foremost communication; they are information, nothing more. The moment we make them something more, we corrupt their constructive use. A reporting system built merely to sort humans in order to provide sports eligibility or grant scholarships is destined to be abused and unhelpful in the long term. 

It's helpful to think of grades as the colored dot posted at our intended destination on a GPS system. (This analogy is thanks to Stan Williams and Emily Rinkema  @CVULearns).

When we want to drive someplace, we insert the address into our GPS and start driving. Our progress towards the address, the colored dot moving across a map, is the grade: it's pure information, a statement of fact for where we are at the given moment in relation to our goal. It is nothing more than this. It is not a reward, affirmation, validation, or compensation.
Our reward for arriving at our destination is...arriving at the destination. 
The grade is NOT the reward, nor can it ever be considered such.
The article goes on to list eight vital elements of a good grading system.  Read it:

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